[HASN logo] No. 33, August-September 1994 ISSN 0811-4757
Edited and published by Tim Sherratt (Tim.Sherratt@asap.unimelb.edu.au) for ASAP.

[Reports logo] History of Science, Ideas and Technology (SA) Group

Our most recent talk was one which had been planned for an earlier date, but postponed, entitled, 'The Employment of Scientific and Technical Enemy Aliens (ESTEA) in Australia: a reparation for World War II?' The speaker was Uta von Homeyer from Flinders University.

Uta's talk was concerned with the recruitment of German scientists and engineers for work in Australia during the 1949-52 Cold War period. The scheme was designed, in part, to prevent highly skilled and very competent people from being enticed or forced to migrate to the Soviet Union. The paper was preceded by our Annual General Meeting.

This year's programme has included Sara Maroske from Melbourne speaking about the Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller Project; foundation member and surgeon, Donald Beard speaking on the history of surgery, and more recently; Professor Hugh Torrens, from Keele in Staffordshire, England, with a 'A Dinosaur talk with a difference' on the history and the naming of dinosaurs. This last was a very successful and well-attended public lecture, arranged jointly with the State Museum. Publicity for the Dinosaur lecture, organised by energetic Richard Ferguson, gave the group an airing on three different radio stations.

On Monday, 24 October, Richard Ferguson will speak on 'Travels with a darkroom: one egg or two? or Expedition photography in the second half of the nineteenth century: the emergence of a new visual medium':

The arrival of photography in 1839 opened up new methods of visually recording the natural world. Well established methods of visually recording discoveries on expeditions were soon challenged by the accuracy of the photograph. However this was not immediate, as limitations of the processes made photography in the field unreliable. It was not until the development of the wet plate process, which utilised egg albumen, that photography was in a position to become a significant means of recording what was encountered by expeditions. This paper will examine some of the social and technical aspects that influenced the application of photography on expeditions to remote regions.
The meeting will be at 7.45pm for 8.00pm in the Royal Society of South Australia Rooms (Plane Tree Court, off Kintore Avenue). This is the first of two papers that Richard will give examining aspects of early expedition photography. The second '"Snap Frozen" or Expedition photography in the second half of the nineteenth century: A case study of three Arctic expeditions' will be presented at the February meeting. Contact Pauline Payne on 269 6879 for further details.

Sadly, founding committee member, Dr Gael Phillips, has left the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in Adelaide for the greener pastures and warmer climate of Brisbane. So does this mean that one day Queensland will get a history of science and technology group? We'll have to see!

- Pauline Payne

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